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“Echelon ”

Written on: 07/05/2006 by Harriet Klausner (18637 reviews written)

John Conviser
Del Rey, Jul 2006, $13.95
ISBN: 0345485025

In the late twentieth century, the NSA used ECHELON as an information gathering program on the net but the data collected proved too chaotic and overwhelming to be useful. Computer scientists sought the key to separate the dross from the gold, which led to Echelon becoming the guiding force that ruled humanity; though most people believe that to be an urban legend. However those who allegedly control Echelon use the program to insure the planet is a safe place to live.

The head of Echelon believes that a saboteur is working inside the Echelon community. The head of the Agency maneuvers thing so that when he is captured, Echelon agent Ryan Laing, restored from the dead due healing drones added to his physiology, learns who the traitor is. However, Ryan assumes this is too simple because the person is a follower not a leader so he turns to hacker Sarah to help him uncover the traitor's master.

John Conviser paints an interesting picture of a future guided by guardians who hold so much power that when one turns egomaniacal the world is in jeopardy. Combining current technology with Lord Acton's warning that "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely" ECHELON is a plausible science fiction thriller that grips readers with its grim realism. This compelling action-packed story line starring a wonderful hero will have audience pondering whether we are already walking that path with telecommunication manipulation.

Harriet Klausner

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